Featured Post

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Falling for Maryland: Part III

Who knew that the Western Shore of Maryland had all this?  For information about what else is on deck here, check out www.choosecalvert.com

Chesapeake Beach

The sandy cliffs at Calvert Cliffs State Park

Psychedelic sea life at the Calvert Marine Museum

Drum Lighthouse at the
Calvert Marine Museum
Out for a ride on the
Patuxent River

Ahoy, Matey!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Falling for Maryland: Part II

This post covering august ideas for autumn getaways in Maryland is excerpted from my article in the September 22 edition of the Washington Post Magazine.   See Part I here.

Eastern Shore Escapes

On the Eastern Shore, St. Michaels is a beloved mecca for Washingtonians looking to escape the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life. Boat aficionados will fall for the first Annual Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival taking place at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum October 4-6. On November 2, the same facility celebrates the oyster with cooking demonstrations, harvesting displays, boat rides, and an oyster stew competition.

The Oxford-Bellevue Ferry 
While in the neighborhood, don’t miss the opportunity to ride the Oxford-Bellevue Ferry The historic craft is the oldest privately-operated ferry in the country, celebrating its 330th birthday this year.  You can walk on, drive on, or bring along a bicycle.
Elsewhere in Talbot County, Tilghman Day on October 19 explores the island’s heritage with  oyster shucking and crab picking contests, and boat races.  In Easton, the big event of the fall is The Waterfowl Festival, held at the Academy Art Museum. Taking wing between November 7-10, the time-honored Eastern Shore tradition pays homage to the annual migration of geese through wildlife-themed art and decoy auctions.

Kent County's Historical Society hosts the Chestertown House Tour and Art Walk on October 5.  It’s not your average house tour. Installation and performance art created by students from Washington College await  ticket holders in the homes of gardens of the historic district.  Art lovers can also enjoy the RiverArts Studio Tour. Running October 26-27 and November 2-3, 60 artists around the county open up their workplaces and sell art at studio prices.

Rock Hall has back-to-back weekend festivals featuring the world of shellfish. The Waterman’s Crab Feast is October 5 and the town’s annual Fall Fest celebrates the mighty oyster on October 12. Sea life of another kind is explored during Sultana Projects Downrigging Weekend, taking place in Chestertown from November 1-4. The Tall Ship and Wooden Boat Festival is the Mid-Atlantic’s largest annual gathering of ships, schooners and historic wooden boats.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Falling for Maryland: Part 1

This post covering august ideas for autumn getaways in Maryland is excerpted from my article in the September 22 edition of the Washington Post Magazine.  

Think fall travel and leaf peeping springs to mind. But around Maryland,  there’s a lot more to do come autumn than simply watch trees change color.

It is said that Maryland has more shoreline than any other state in the Lower 48. Thus, centering a trip around water is an easy seasonal optional. In fact, fall is the perfect time to head to the Eastern and Western Shores of the Chesapeake, or to Maryland’s Atlantic coast. Skies are sunny, waters are warm, fishing’s fine, and traffic is trivial.

Ocean City’s 10 miles of white-sand Atlantic beaches beckon throughout the fall. The resort’s boardwalk bustles with activity, as do the waters within its sight. This is the time to go boating or try out paddle boarding. It’s also a prime time for fishing in The White Marlin Capital of the World.  

Golfers will be quite happy teeing off as temperatures cool off. There are numerous championship courses in the area, surrounded by scenery ranging from preserved wetland to pristine woods..  

Special events during October involve family fun and food. Gourmands can indulge during Ocean City’s Fall Restaurant Weeks. Yes, that’s weeks, as in two  The table is set this year from October 13-27. OCtoberfest, held the weekends of October 19-20 and 26-27, is a combination celebration of Halloween and the hallowed beach.

Although Ocean City may be the best known city in Worcester County, the area offers an intriguing collection of smaller burgs.  Located only seven miles from the Atlantic Ocean, Berlin’s downtown is a National Register Historic District. But don’t let its historic nature fool you. It’s a trendy hot spot, with cool shops, outdoor eateries, and art galleries featuring modern and classic works.

On October 19, the streets of downtown go, appropriately, German-style. Berlin’s Octoberfest features a beer garden blooming with beer, bratwurst, strudel, and live music. No lederhosen required.The county’s European heritage is also on show in Snow Hall. On October 5 and 6, Furnace Town hosts the Chesapeake Celtic Festival, complete with bagpipes and Celtic grub and grog.

See Part II here.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Here's Something for Everyone

After receiving my 200th press release including the phrase something for everyone...


This Santa Barbara gem offers something for everyone with unique spa treatments,
delicious California-inspired bites, Afternoon Tea and authentic delights throughout

...I felt compelled to put on my crotchety school-marm bonnet with a bee in it and take to writing a stinging and long-overdue blog post about this hackneyed expression.

If you are a regular reader of travel writing, both in the form of journalism and public relations, your mind will simply be boggled by how just many destinations have something for everyone.

For example,

Turkey: Something for everyone   

Headline from the May 3 edition of  www.breakingtravelnews.com

According to the Travel Channel's Traveling Type blog, "whether you’re enjoying the bright lights of the big city or taking a family adventure to the city limits, Las Vegas has something for everyone."


Visit Baltimore says the city is "a multicultural, family friendly, pet friendly and gay travel friendly destination that offers something for everyone!"  

Of course, Visit Baltimore's mission is to make hyperbolic remarks about the city. The organization is not rare among destination marketing organizations in using this nondescript description, complete with exclamation point!

"Scottsdale offers something for everyone," according to the Fifty-Plus Advocate.

"Orlando, Florida Has Something For Everyone," announces PremierTravelResorts.com. 

Elsewhere in Florida, the traveldudes reported on July 4, 2012 that "Fort Lauderdale offers something for everyone from nature lovers, to shopaholics to beach and sea lovers."

Coney Island Beach
The July 17 edition of Ideas That Spark reports that the following "five sandy locations--offer something for everyone." Apparently, Cocoa Beach, Virginia Beach, Myrtle Beach, Coney Island Beach and Old Silver Beach in Mississippi all share this amazing attribute. 

Next, we head north of the border. Have Baggage Will Travel headlines her April 17, 2012 blog post:  Visiting Montreal--Something for Everyone! But then, she cleverly outwits other users of the woebegone expression by noting, "While globetrotting, I’ve heard countless cities described as having something for everyone – which I’ve often found inaccurate. I’m happy to report that Montreal can check off the “something for everyone” box. Aside from the travesty of using something for everyone twice within the lead paragraph, she then offers up proof in pudding form. You can eat poutine and have breakfast in a sugar shack (not necessarily at the same time) in Montreal. Well, I guess that does take care of everyone.

Still, Travel Weekly, the bible of travel industry trade magazines, seems to concur with HBWT.
One result of my Google search of "something for everyone": 

Montreal: Something for everyone - Travel Weekly 


I really could go on and on and on. I will continue
to add examples as they inevitably come to my
e-mailbox. Feel free to contribute your examples as well.

In the meantime, I would advise all would-be travel auteurs to use the 
phrase in one context only. Follow the lead of the Family Vacation Critic
In discussing multi-generational travel, she recommends:

Plan Something for Everyone 
Whatever time of year you're traveling, make sure you have plenty of different activities from which to choose, as well as ones with varying degrees of "difficulty." And don't expect everyone to participate in every activity.

Brava, Family Vacation Critic! Good advice and kudos on the use of something for everyone.

Monday, September 2, 2013

9 More Gnomes About Travel Writing

Following up on the popular 9 Gnomes About Travel Writing, I present another elfin nonet of malapropisms that leave me grouchy.

1. The Bordeaux does not compliment the filet mignon, unless it is able to magically speak. Wine complements an entree by supplementing it or making it whole. It does not tell the steak what a fine piece of meat it is (unless it is rude wine).

2. If you want to insure a good trip, buy TravelGuard. However, if you want to ensure a good trip, do your research in advance and stay at nice hotels. Cozying up in a comfy bed can assure most people that a good night of sleep is in store..
3. Despite what Lady Gaga and many other song lyricists write, nothing is between you and I. It’s between you and me. Me is an object pronoun; I is a subject pronoun. Between is a preposition. Prepositions take the object pronoun. Please don’t keep this between you and me.

4. Did I illicit a response from you on the last item? I should hope not. Perhaps I elicited a reaction, though. Illicit means outside the law. Elicit is to draw forth.or to evoke.

State images courtesy

5. Texas is not larger then Delaware. It is, however, larger than Delaware. Then is an adverb signifying time (First, I'll visit Texas. Then, I'll go to Delaware). Than is a comparative word.

6. The phrase “with all due respect” is usually spoken, not written. But whenever it is used, there’s most likely a heavy undertone of sarcasm. If you have to lead off a sentence with the phrase, it likely signifies an absolute lack of respect for the principle under discussion.

7. Or perhaps you have no due respect for the principal under discussion, if you are talking about the dude who has establishing the principles for your high school’s code of conduct.

8. Do your eyes literally pop out of your head when you hear this term misused? I should hope not. I am not blind to the fact that people at times employ literally in place of figuratively for emphasis or comic effect (as opposed to comic affect, which is incorrect and the starting point for our next 9 Gnomes discussion). This article in the Washington Post figuratively hits the nail on the head. It might literally hit the nail on the head if you pasted it on a hammer before hitting the head of a nail.

9. A unicorn is not kind of unique or rather unique or even uniquely unique. If something is unique, it is one-of-a-kind. No qualifier is necessary.

Please tell me about your most irksome gnomes in the comments section.